Lexicon DIY-Knowledge


Birke / Betula



Birch trees are found all over Europe and regions to the east of it. They grow on any kind of soil, but they need a lot of light. Birch trees are easily recognised by their white trunks with the curly bark. Available in Europe is usually white birch (betula pendula, also known as weeping birch) and black birch Sap- and heartwood cannot be distinguished in the cross-sectional view of the trunk. Birch is therefore regarded as a sapwood tree. Decorative special growth is possible. Birch wood is lightly shrinking, of medium hardness, tough and bendable with a usually bright, yellow to lightly red colour. It darkens strongly with age and can be protected against ageing by using UV absorbers.

Birch wood can be easily processed both manually and with machines. Polishing tends to produce an excellent finish. It can be stained to any colour you wish. However, the formation of a surface film after treatment with polyester varnish can take a while. Birch wood can hinder the setting of glue and therefore has only limited suitability for gluing.
The natural resistance of birch wood against fungus and insect attacks is low, and therefore birch is mainly used for indoor purposes.
As solid wood and as veneer birch is used in furniture making, for staircase constructions and parquetry, and also for carving and wood turning. It is also used for marquetry work and musical instruments
Birch wood is not a health risk. Its allergic potential is low and can therefore be recommended without restrictions to make children?s toys and household utensils (e.g. spatulas).
Birch logs are preferred as firewood for their pleasant aromatic scent.